The game of musical chairs for NFL quarterbacks this off-season could include Aaron Rodgers being traded.
The longtime Packers quarterback, who appeared to be soaking up the scene at Lambeau Field earlier this month after the final game of his 18th season with the organisation, could soon be on the move, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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“It’s hard to imagine that he’s gonna retire and walk away and surrender $110 million ($A156m) in guaranteed money,” Schefter said during an appearance on ‘SportsCenter’ this morning (AEDT).
“So that means he’s either back with Green Bay, or the team explores the idea of trading him. Now, Jordan Love is getting closer and closer to playing. … (So) yes, one of these scenarios that the Green Bay Packers are expected to explore this off-season is the idea … they could have to part ways with Aaron Rodgers in the form of a trade.”
While it is a very real possibility that Rodgers has played his last snap in a Packers uniform, Schefter clarified that it isn’t a foregone conclusion and that any in-conference trade is likely off the table.
“That doesn’t mean it will happen,” Schefter said.
“But if he wants that, and they’re on the same page, then it’s certainly realistic. … And if they do go ahead and trade him, it would be to the AFC.”
Rodgers, 39, is yet to decide whether he is coming back to Green Bay – or anywhere for that matter – next season but did address the speculation on Wednesday morning and denied that the Packers had told him they would be considering trading him this off-season.
“I think it’s more just living in the reality of what is and what it is is that they drafted my replacement,” Rodgers said during his weekly appearance on the ‘Pat McAfee Show’.
“If I didn’t win two Covid MVPs (then) this conversation probably would have happened earlier, but in a year where I’m not gonna win MVP, it allows for all the different conjecture. (Such as) is Jordan ready? Is it time to move on? The Packers have had this interesting view on personnel, conjecture from outside the building, that it’s better to move on a year before a guy is done than a year after and is that the mindset for them deep down?
“Now as an organisation, they are obviously not going to say any of that. Why would you? There’s not a whole lot to be won (in that scenario) and often unfortunately at times, as mentioned by (Green Bay CEO) Mark Murphy last year, in a situation where there doesn’t need to be sides, there can be sides that are drawn. There’s not sides here, it’s not me against the Packers. It never was me against the Packers.”
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If Green Bay do decide to part ways with their long-time franchise quarterback this off-season, it would represent a huge shift in the franchise’s plans for the future considering that Rodgers is less than 12 months removed from signing a three-year, $150m ($A213m) extension with the team following back-to-back league MVP seasons.
Love, who was impressive when briefly replacing Rodgers due to injury this season, is set to enter his fourth NFL season after the Packers moved up to take him in the first-round of the 2020 draft, meaning that the franchise must decide by May whether to exercise the 24-year-old’s $20m ($A28.4m) fifth-year option.
After a disappointing 9-8 finish in 2022, and a young group of developing wide receivers on the roster, the team could be looking to move on from Rodgers in order to replenish its draft assets and salary cap space.
If Rodgers is indeed available this off-season, a number of teams would likely make a play for the four-time NFL MVP.
Working on the presumption that Schefter’s AFC claim is correct, then the Jets, Raiders, Titans and Patriots would seem the most logical landing spots for the 39-year-old super-bowl winner.
The asking price the Packers would be looking for to part ways with one of the greatest QBs of all time would be incredibly steep, however it is a price that the New York Jets are reportedly willing to pay, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King.
“As for the compensation due Green Bay, my guess is the Pack would want at least two first-round picks,” he said in his ‘Football Morning In America’ column.
“The Woody Johnson Jets, desperate for a star QB almost since the Broadway Joe days, would happily pay that freight, I’d guess. But would Rodgers accept a deal to the Jets? We shall see.”